New Year Thoughts
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, January 1, 2021
2020 was a huge year of change for many of us. Life went completely upside down for me and my family. It didn’t mean all bad but it meant a huge refocusing.
At the start of the pandemic, I was working at my job of 11 years. Because of the fear of being in a nursing home started to grow, my hours there meant going to multiple facilities to gain more hours. I had the unfortunate luck of being at a facility with a positive worker that sparked change for me. I landed up deciding to get out of skilled nursing facilities and go into home care.
As my work in the nursing home declined, my home health worked increased and I saw the firsthand effects of COVID. It was heartbreaking to see what this terrible virus could inflict upon people. I saw folks who led active lives completely debilitated by this pathogen in a matter of days. It was eye opening to see how life can change in a blink of an eye.
Seeing this reaffirmed my support for science. When we have a problem, we need the scientific process to determine how we will navigate through it. There was really no other way to address this but with science, however the damage has been done over the years by the social media and poor reporting by the news.
Right on cue, politics got in the way of getting a good grasp on what the next steps would be and lots of confusion flooded the media as a result. The US is now paying for the effects this with rising infections and overburdened hospitals. As the vaccine is being rolled out, getting it out to people is now another challenge ahead with many fearing the solution because of hesitancy.
The latest word on the news is that the vaccination campaigns will take at least 10 years at the rate we are heading. Will that mean 10 years of mask wearing and social distancing? It might if we do not get a real handle on the cost of disinformation.
The very source of disinformation platforms like Facebook and Twitter are only now cracking down on false information. They were the source of bad information for over a decade and we now see the need to stop this from continuing. Too many said that fake news was not a big deal only to realize now how deadly it is.
I just received word that I have the privilege to get the COVID vaccine and I and getting it as soon as I can as a health care worker. It is my duty to protect my patients in the community and in facilities. Do I fear the potential side effects of this mRNA vaccine? No. I prefer not to be a guinea pig to COVID.
In this New Year, I hope more people open their eyes to the amazing possibilities that science can do for our lives. That’s all we’ve got to solve the problem in front of us. Time to science the crap out of this pandemic.